I’ve been reading LifeHacker lately and I highly recommend it for speeding up life and work flow. It tells me a lot of stuff I do know, but a lot I don’t. These are a few specific things that I now can’t live without.
The Windows Desktop Search is beyond useless. The short of search is that any search engine makes a catalog of your files and searches that, not your actually computer. That should speed things up, but I can find something faster on my blog than my desktop with the built in search. Window Search actually slows down your computer with the Indexing it’s doing 24/7, so I’ve noticed a speed increase by just turning it off.
1. Open up “My Computer.”
2. Right-click on your hard drive (usually “C:”) and choose “Properties.”
3. Uncheck the box at the bottom that reads “Allow Indexing Service to…”
4. Click OK, and files will be removed from memory. This removal may take a few minutes to complete.
This part is kinda optional if you find it confusing. When I checked on my computer the service wasn’t running at all and I didn’t have to change anything. To disable the indexing service:
1. In the “Start” menu, choose “Run.”
2. Type “services.msc” and press Enter.
3. Scroll-down to “Indexing Service” and double-click it.
4. If the service status is “Running”, then stop it by pressing the “Stop” button.
5. To make sure this service doesn’t run again, under “Startup Type:”, choose “Disabled.”
This still isn’t Desktop Search, however, as the subhead would indicate. For a full comparison read this Slate article. I’m following their recommendation using Copernic, which is fast and elegant. I’ve actually started dumping my files in huge piles and just using Copernic to find what I need by keyword. It searches within the text of the file, and it can find any filetype. I was once enamoured of Google Desktop, but it’s actually useless cause it only really indexes Office documents and I can’t find any Photoshop files or images with it.
A lot of crap tries to load itself when you boot up, and that slows stuff down. It’s pretty simple to turn them off. To quote LifeHacker – “To review and disable these programs, go to the Start menu, Run, and type “msconfig” (no quotes.) In the Startup tab, uncheck anything you don’t need (leave on virus scan, turn off the instant messenger program you stopped using months ago.) Without needless memory hogs running amok at the get-go, your PC will start faster and happier.”
Then there is the standard, which is to use Firefox. I couldn’t live without Tabbed browsing and I never worry about Spyware or Pop-Ups. Tabs are the best, though. It lets you open multiple pages in tabs – within a single Window. With IE I used to have 10 windows open at once, which was completely unmanagable, but with Firefox they are all contained in one. It also lets you bookmark a set of tabs, which I use every day. For updating www.sarvodaya.org, for example, I usually have 5 windows open. What I did was open them all in Tabs, bookmark them as a set, and now I can open the entire folder of bookmarks at once. I’ve set up workspaces for all the websites I update, and I find it indispensible.
indi.ca/firefox should give you any posts I’ve written on the subject. Also, www.lifehacker.com is a much more useful read.